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Will Honeybells (tangelos)
interact with medications like grapefruit does?
My husband takes a very low dose of simvastatin for his cholesterol.
I know that people on cholesterol meds should not drink grapefruit
Is it OK for him to eat Honeybells? They are tangelos,
which is a hybrid between tangerines and pomelo or grapefruit.
Dr. Gourmet Says....
The research shows that oranges and citrus other than grapefruit are
not an issue -- it is a substance in the grapefruit itself, called
furanocoumarins, that interacts with enzymes that are involved
in metabolization of medications such as simvastatin (and many
Given that tangelos are a hybrid of grapefruit I would usually suggest
to my patients that they avoid them, given the known issue with
grapefruit. The good news, however, is that a study reported
in the Journal
of Food Science in 2005 and funded by the US Department of Agriculture
here) has shown that tangelos do not contain furanocoumarins
and should be safe.
If you’re on any medications, you need to be sure to tell your
doctor what other medications or supplements you’re using, as you
can never be sure what might cause an interaction. The Center
for Food-Drug Interaction Research and Education has a searchable
database at http://www.druginteractioncenter.org that
can help you discover any interactions with medications you are